This chapter is the longest as it addresses the most complicated SEO issues present on Department, Category and Subcategory Pages on ecommerce websites: breadcrumbs, pagination, infinite scrolling, sorting, viewing and faceted navigation. The book explains in detail the options available to deal with each of these challenges, using real life examples. Here’s an excerpt from this chapter:

“Ecommerce sites are often cluttered, displaying too much information to process and too many items to choose from. This leads to information overload and induces choice paralysis.[i] It’s therefore essential to offer users an easier way to navigate through large catalogs. This is where faceted/filtered navigation (what Google calls additive filters) comes into play.

Whether your visitors are looking for something very specific or just browsing, filters can be highly useful, helping them locate products without using the internal site search or the primary navigation (which in most cases shows a limited number of options).

Faceted navigation makes it easier for searchers to find what they’re looking for by narrowing product listings based on predefined filters in the form of clickable links. Usability experts refer to faceted navigation as “arguably the most significant search innovation of the past decade”.[ii]

One retailer saw a

“76.1% increase in revenue, a 26% increase in conversions and 19.76% increase in shopping cart visits in an A/B test after implementing filtering on its listing pages.”[iii]

I will use the terms filters and facets interchangeably in this book, but it’s important to know that they have slightly different meanings.

  • Facets are dimensions/attributes shared by a group of items. In the image above, “Women’s size”, “Women’s width”, “Category” and “Styles” are the facets.
  • Filters are the facet values. For the “Styles” facet, the filters will be “Comfort”, “Pumps”, “Athletic” and so on.

Faceted navigation is a boon for users and conversion rates, but it can generate a serious maze for search engine crawlers. The major issues it generates are duplicate or near-duplicate content, crawling traps and nonessential thin content.

[i] The Paradox of Choice,

[ii] Search Patterns: Design for Discovery, [page 95]

[iii] Adding product filter on eCommerce website boosts revenues by 76%,

  • Posted by  Traian
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About the Author

I am Traian, the author of the Ecommerce SEO book. I have more than 12 years of research and practical experience in SEO, my favorite area of digital marketing. When consulting and providing recommendations I like to take into account more than just the search engine: I consider information architecture, user interface and experience/usability issues. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, follow me on Google+ or on Twitter

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